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I'm studying for the Grade 6 music theory exam with the ABRSM and am working through this exercise in preparation (2018 B, question 2)

Can anyone tell me if there are any errors I should correct? Beat 4 of bar 1 (e minor chord) seems slightly off to me.

2 Answers 2


If you're talking about part-writing errors in general, there are some parallel octaves between the tenor and alto lines happening.

In the third full measure, last beat, that a minor chord looks like it should be a C major chord, according to the exercise.

  • In other words, the figure 6 has been realized with a 6/4 chord.
    – phoog
    Feb 15, 2023 at 23:37
  • I see no parallel octaves between tenor and alto Mar 6, 2023 at 15:35

Beat 4 of m. 1 also seems odd to me, but your realization correctly follows the figures. Beat 3 to 4 has a IV chord moving to vi, which is a little unorthodox, and so much so that I wonder if there should be a "6" underneath beat 4 to make that a IV6. But let's assume it's correct!

Some other considerations:

  • Parallel octaves between soprano and tenor (A to B) in the opening two chords.
  • Parallel octaves between alto and bass (E to D) moving into the downbeat of m. 2.
  • Beat 2 of m. 3, with the doubled root and third, could be respelled to include a D in the alto, making the chord complete. But note that this creates a diminished fifth (F♯–C) moving to a perfect fifth (G–D) between the alto and tenor. This doesn't bother me, but some traditions don't allow the diminished fifth moving to a perfect fifth. But I might recommend moving the alto to D, because this will also smooth out the motion into beat 3 when the alto moves to E.
  • Beat 4 of m. 3 is in first inversion, so this should be a C-major chord (with E in the bass), not an A-minor chord.

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